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In this post we give our Top 10 tried and tested recommendations that potential guests and resident guests at Finca El Tambor might like to do.
Discover our Top 10 series on information and recommendations about what to do, see and experience closeby during a stay with us, in Antigua Guatemala, and more widely in Guatemala in our Blog here.
Top 10 Things To Do in El Hato & Antigua Guatemala
Right next door to us, Earth Lodge is the oldest and most famous destination for yoga fanatics (yoga classes every day at 9 am) and has recently developed their offering to include sharmanic ceremonies (mayan cacao, temazcal, fire), ice baths and UV treatments. Once a go-to destination in itself for not just yoga but sunday live music and great food, they just keep adding activitites to their list that our clients love to do then come back to their home with us and get back into the privacy and peace and quiet.
Due to the dynamics of the climate and geology, coffee beans from Antigua Guatemala specifically, are considered some of the world's best-quality beans. As you can imagine, this comes with a large number of coffee plantations to choose a tour at - we recommend Finca Filadepfia becasue their tours are really well done expereinces and also, its the coffee plantation that you can see in the valley off your blacony when you stay with us!
Possibly the best centre for art and design exhibitions in all of Guatemala.
Not only do they have international touring exhibitions such as egyptology (albeit small scale) but exhibitions have included Guatemalan mayan pottery designs, contemporary guatemalan artists and even the world loved and world-famous photographer Steve McCurry which included worldwide studies including his studies right here in Guatemala.
Apart from their base collection, hopefully they might have something on to piquet your interest during your stay with us. Check out their location and hours et cetera., here.
Volcano Hikes (Acatenango & Pacaya)
We can't recommend one over the other becasue any volcano obsessive will find both a 10 out of 10 experience. They're just very different expereinces.
For Acatenango, it's a tough hike up the ashy flanks and pure excitement as you camp overnight and watch the volcano 3 km across from you ejecting a new lava fountain (and a load explosive boom) every few minutes. This is just so epic it's almost indescribale. Expect no sleep and for your jaw to be dropped open and to repeart the word 'wow' at least 100 times in a row. Definitely do the overnight trip - there are now some good lodging options versus just tent camping so do the upgrade.
For Pacaya, well, this one is a geologists dream - you can explore the lava scape and see the diffrent eruptipn events (this is still an acive volcano but you are not allowed near the lava flows when they are active, plus the flows are generally highly viscous compared to the stratavolcano Volcan Agua which is the one you camp out to see if you hike up acatenango). This lava field lavascape is just amazing and you also get to roast marshmallows in the lava field and generally have a nice time. This is a quickler day trip and you'll see the sunset (weather permitting) on your way back down.
Choco Museo - Bean to Bar Chocolate Workshop
A really fun and obviously tasty experience, this several hour workshop walks you over the entire process of how to make chocolate and is fully interactive - you'll make your own chocolate and get an insight into the different types of cacao based drinks, and other fascinating things you'd not have thought about, again, it's donein small groups and really fun.
Hotel Casa Santo Domingo - the spa, the museums, and concerts
With three museums, an amazing spa (you can day pass), and being the oldest hotel in Antigua Guatemala, and further, the most prestegous in all of Guatemala, it's definitely a top visit. Do the museums in the morning, followed by lunch in their restaurant, followed by an afternoon in their heavenly spa.
They also frequently have concerts in the gardens set among the old ruins which are magical and super entertainment. Check their locaiton and website for more information here.
Finca El Pilar
At Finca El Tambor, you are already in one of the most important birding hotspots in all of Guatemala. We are a part of a nature corridor that runs across the valley below and up behind us to the top of the hill (although significant development of tourist attractions in the last decade has rapidly degraded and severely impacted the environment above us, making our little haven super-important in terms of protecting species.
If you're into birding, we also recommend a day trip over to Finca El Pilar (about a 20 minute drive away) which is also a very important birding spot and where you can hike all the way up to Cerro Cuccurucho. Its a full-day's hike so take binoculars, a picninc, water and once you reach the top - take in the magnificant view across Guatemala City and Lake Amatitlan!
Private Walking Tour of Antigua Guatemala
No visit to Antigua Guatemala is complete without a walking tour (it's really a tiny city so there aren't driven tours). We recommend a private tour so that if you're not interested in religion and visiting the 30 plus churches, convents and monasteries, then thre's plenty of other stuff to focus on.
Mercado Iglesia La Merced (Cafe La Merced) or Nim Po't
These two markets are close together and offer almost any Guatemalana souvenir you could possibly wish to find. In both, you will be greeted and attended to versus badgered. Inside the archway of La Merced you can also find an ATM (cajero 5B) that takes international cards.
Hobbitenango (& Alta Mira)
On the hit-list for any Lord Of The Rings fanatic for the tacky instagram pics you can't go without. You'll have the same views from your accommodation with us but if you need those influencer pics, this one is for you.
Cerro De La Cruz
This is the best viewpoint of the historical city centre of Antigua Guatemala available. Recently rewilded, this park now contains many species of plants and trees to try and help species diversity (this park is the beginning of the wildlife corridor that we are). IF you go up or down to the city centre whilst staying with us, you will pass Cerro De La Cruz as it is at the bottom of the mountain we are situated further up on. It's about a 30-40 min walk from the central square or you can take a tuc-tuc into the park and walk down to the cross about 200m from the parking. You can then get the tuc-tuc bakc home to Finca El Tambor for about q50-80 which is in itself a fun experience worth doing.